7. 680 and 684 Fifth Avenue Townhouses

Photo by Albert Levy in public domain from Wikimedia Commons

William Henry Vanderbilt’s daughters Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly and Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt Webb also got their own mansions on Fifth Avenue. Florence lived at 684 Fifth Avenue until 1926 when she upgraded to a new 70-room mansion further north along Central Park. Florence’s mansion was designed by John B. Snook, who designed a number of cast-iron buildings around SoHo, as well as the predecessor to Grand Central Terminal called Grand Central Depot. Florence also had a summer estate called Floreham in Convent Station, New Jersey, designed by McKim, Mead and White.

Eliza lived at 680 Fifth Avenue, which was also designed by Snook and was a wedding gift from William H. Vanderbilt. Eliza also had Shelburne Farms up in Vermont and NaHaSaNe in the Adirondacks. There were so many Vanderbilt mansions built along Fifth Avenue that a stretch of the street became known as “Vanderbilt Row.” The two homes were very different than their sisters’ “Triple Palaces” in that they boasted rusticated stonework, turrets, bow windows, and a mix of domes and galbes that resulted in busy rooflines. The Webbs sold 680 to John D. Rockefeller in 1913.